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Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters, Hawkwind singer Robert Calvert’s 1974 solo debut, has two stories to tell. One of them is about what became of the German air force after World War II. The other is about a young boy who wanted to be a pilot, but ended up a poet instead. In the sixth episode of Ghost Echoes, we receive two postcards from mid-century Europe.

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Music and Sound Notes:

— The Hawkwind tracks heard here are “Seeing it as You Really Are” from their self-titled debut, “Silver Machine” from In Search of Space, and Calvert’s recitation “10 Seconds of Forever” from the Space Ritual live album.

— Songs and sketches excerpted from Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters include “Franz Josef Strauss, Defence Minister, Reviews the Luftwaffe in 1958. “Finding It Somewhat Lacking in Image Potential”, “Aircraft Salesman (A Door in the Foot)”, “Bier Garten”, “The Widow Maker”, “Interview”, and “Catch a Falling Starfighter”.

Further reading, listening:

— A treasure trove of documents relating to Robert Calvert can be found on Aural Innovations. Other useful writing includes Joe Banks’ piece in the Guardian, and The Saga of Hawkwind by Carol Clerk.


— General information about the state of the German air force after WWII came from this piece in Aviation History. More specific information about the Starfighter bribery scandal and its aftermath came from this 1976 New York magazine piece and this post from The Aviation Geek Club.

— The episode of The Adventures of Dan Dare excerpted here is “Revolt on Mars” from 1953, originally broadcast on Radio Luxembourg. The documentary about Germany after the war is “A Defeated People,” produced by the British War Department in 1946.